Climate change is the most serious issue ever to have faced humanity. Rightly, it is now high on the public, political, media and business agendas. However, too much of the discussion is still about what we should not be doing or what we should be against. There is not enough discussion or information on solutions – what we can and should do to minimise dangerous climate change, and what should be done to make us not only safer and more secure, but also richer and happier.
There are technological solutions to most of the issues, but the debate cannot be conducted purely in technocratic terms. There must be major changes in policy and some changes in personal behaviour. Therefore, governments and individual need to make choices and these choices should be based on moral principles. This need not lead to sermonising – that would only alienate people. However, some of the great historical movements, such as the anti-slavery ones or the Suffragettes, have had a clear and powerful moral message. The issue of climate change should be no different.
Climate Answers will seek to separate climate issues from other social and environmental issues. Climate questions are inevitably linked to other issues, but it is important to understand that the issues are different. To give an example – a low-carbon diet is different from an animal rights diet and need not necessarily lead to vegetarianism.
Climate change has an impact on the entire world, although more damagingly in the tropics. And it does not matter where greenhouse gases are emitted – unlike pollutants (such as sulphur dioxide or nitrogen dioxide), which cause air quality problems. Local greenhouse gas emissions have a global impact. The site will focus on UK and EU issues, but will also cover the US as well as, China, Brazil, South Africa and other developing countries.
Climate Answers was launched in March 2009. The site is not politically affiliated, nor does it advise readers how to vote. Rather, it will invite experts, policy makers and interested parties to discuss the issues in a clear, intelligent and dispassionate way. And we encourage everyone to become involved.
The website aims to publish regular comments on topical issues, together with articles on different climate-related subjects. As political and policy issues change more rapidly than technological or behavioural ones, they will be extensively covered. Also remember, 2009 is a crucial year for climate policy and politics, with the Obama administration’s first moves to create a greener USA and the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December. We will be covering both in detail, along with other important issues.
Unless an article is expressed to be by Stephen Tindale or Jon Trevelyan, the opinions expressed in any article are the opinions of the contributor and are not necessarily the opinions of Climate Answers.